3 to 7 percent of children who are of the school going age suffer from Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, commonly abbreviated as ADHD. What has been of great concern isn’t just the effect that this has on them at this age but how this will affect them later in life. ADHD affects many activities that play a great role in the futures of children such as education and this means that the condition will undoubtedly have some effect in the later years. What has never been clear is just how serious this impact could be when compared to other children who don’t suffer from the same condition.

A decades old study

The study on the impact of ADHD was carried out on 135 Caucasian males who had been documented as being hyperactive by their teachers while they were in school in the 70s. These men were referred to the Klein’s hospital. All these men would also have been diagnosed with ADHD today according to the researcher. The men who were picked were also from similar middle-class backgrounds and none had any parental issues. When the boys in this group got to 18 years of age, another group with a matching age was picked for the purpose of comparison. This comparison groups was made up of individuals who had no issues while they were in school. Interviews were carried out when the men were 41 years of age and the results were quite different in a few ways.

It should first be noted that most people who are diagnosed with ADHD end up leading lives which most would consider normal. In fact fewer than half of these kids have any lasting problems. The results of this study however showed that for a particular group of kids that suffer from ADHD the results are not so rosy. In the study, those with ADHD symptoms left school two and half years earlier than the kids in the comparison group. More than one in five was found to have ADHD after 3 decades. Compare this with 1 in 20 for the other group. A third of them were in jail at one point or another and this is three times higher than those in the other group.

The slippery slope of ADHD

The men involved in the study also showed that those with ADHD were more likely to fall into drug abuse, get divorced and also get labeled as having antisocial behavior disorder. While the study doesn’t say that ADHD is exactly what causes all these problems, Klein stated that the impulsiveness that is associated with the disorder may make these young people likely to use drugs. After that, it’s likely that crimes and other social problems will follow.

There is a silver lining here and that is the results from this study are still within the range that are considered normal. It should also be noted that not all the outcomes were negative and since most in fact are married and employed it means that the outlook isn’t all that bad.